Recent cutting of insulin prices will help patients at Blue Ridge Free Clinic

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 3:16 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Over the last month, several pharmaceutical companies have announced they are cutting their insulin prices by almost 80%.

The first was Eli Lilly on March 1, announcing it will be capping the out-of-pocket cost of all of its insulin products at $35 a month. Soon after two other major makers of insulin, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi followed suit, slashing the prices of their products.

Staff with the Blue Ridge Free Clinic say this will help their diabetic patients, some of whom have reported rationing their insulin due to its high cost.

“A lot of our patients when insulin was at the price of hundreds of dollars per vial, were having to choose between buying food, buying their other medications, or buying their insulin,” nurse practitioner and BRFC’s director of clinical programs Lynne Eggert said.

Eggert says many of the clinic’s patients are underinsured or have no insurance. Due to the expensive out-of-pocket costs of the hormone, staff would see some Type 2 diabetic patients exhibit symptoms of ‘out of control’ diabetes. This often involves problems with the eyes, kidneys, and extremities.

“By the time it’s gotten to microvascular complications, there’s a lot more going on with that patient that’s difficult to dial back from. So I guess what I see is that people will be able to manage their type 2 diabetes a lot better,” Eggert said.

Eggert adds the key to preventing long-term complications with diabetes is early diagnosis. She recommends that everyone, especially those with a family history of the disease, be screened as soon as possible.